Jimmy Reid – Rest in Peace

Been browsing the tributes to Jimmy Reid and link to some of them below
Tam Dalyell in the Independent. Here’s Reid comparing Scargill and Thatcher:
“….Reid made the interesting parallel between Scargill and Mrs Thatcher. “Those two deserve one another,” he told me. “She has closed her mind to the possibility of being wrong; Scargill never admitted to having any doubts at all. He has that frightening certitude, like Mrs Thatcher. Although they are both apparently poles apart, politically, philosophically and ideologically, they are both dogmatists. The difference is that she has the whole state machine at her disposal.”
In a devastating critique that confirmed the total political break with his former comrade, published some weeks before the end of the miners’ strike, Reid wrote: “I reject the notion that Scargill is leading some crusade against Thatcherite Toryism. Beneath the rhetoric Scargillism and Thatcherism are political allies. I would put it this way: the political spectrum is not linear but circular. In my experience the extreme left always ends up rubbing shoulders with the extreme right. They are philosophically blood brothers.”
Alex Salmond pays tribute here:
“…His transition in politics from the Communist Party to the Labour Party to the Scottish National Party retained an essential core of consistency, and reflected the potential for unity between the labour and national movements in Scottish political life. Just as Jimmy believed in the rights and dignity of individual human beings, he believed in Scotland’s rights and dignity as a nation. That, I believe, is a legacy of fundamental importance, which ensures the continuing relevance of Jimmy’s thinking and philosophy as Scotland moves forward.”
The funeral was in Bute but at the Glasgow service Alex Ferguson and Billy Connelly paid tribute:
Ferguson -“Sir Alex Ferguson said his memories of Mr Reid were as a young boy with books under his arm while the Manchester United manager played football.
He told the service: “Our education was football, his education was the Govan library. He was never out of there.”
Connelly – “He put things beautifully simply, complex things that just knocked me back three steps.”
The best validictory would be his own words. From the famous inaugural speech as rector of Glasgow University in 1972.
“A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement.”
The text (which was printed in full in the New York Times) is worth reading in full here

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